GORDON Brown launched his government of national unity yesterday by giving ex-Tory Sean Woodward a job in the cabinet (he defected from the Tories in 1999), and by having discussions with Shirley Williams.
This is far from being a government of national unity.
After the Lib Dem Lord Ashdown turned down an offer of a government position, as did ex-Metropolitan Police chief Lord Stevens, the opinion amongst the right wingers that Brown is wooing, is that they want proof that he is determined and capable of seeing through the rest of the Blair-Brown privatisation and anti-union programme.
They view this government as inexperienced, lightweight, crisis ridden, and untested.
The crisis caused by the war on two fronts, against the Iraqi and the British workers, has indeed devastated the Labour Party, and seen a cabinet emerge that is minus most of its previous and recent ‘heavyweights’, such as Blunkett, Reid, Jowell, Charles Clarke, Milburn, Lord Goldsmith, and of course Blair.
The stench of political disaster and corruption remains all pervasive.
The ex-Prime Minister and ex-MP Blair was seen yesterday by the police and interviewed once again over the cash for peerages scandal.
This along with the failure of his government to proceed with the serious fraud inquiry into the BAe-Saudi royal family bribery scandal allegations may well see Blair marooned in Tel Aviv, emulating Lady Porter. She sheltered there for years, since Israel does not have an extradition treaty with Britain.
The continuing crisis of the government has seen Brown’s favourite reactionaries wary of sinking their lot in with him, just like that.
They are watching his government carefully and will only join it if it is able to show the necessary resolution to drive back the postal workers, who are on national strike today, in order to privatise the industry, and continue with the Blair-Brown programme. They view it as the key test for Brown.
The crisis of the new government was further revealed with the appointment of David Miliband as Foreign Secretary and John Denham as Minister for Innovation Universities and Skills.
Miliband allegedly admits in private that he considers the Iraq war to have been a huge mistake while Denham resigned as a minister in opposition to it.
These appointments indicate that Brown will do as the military chiefs suggest, quit Iraq at speed in order to concentrate on sinking deeper into the Afghan quagmire.
Brown however is determined to push forward with his capitalist programme.
The equity capitalist group headed by David Buffini has just sold off the AA, after sacking 3,500 workers and enormously worsening the terms and conditions of service of the remaining workers.
Buffini and his capitalist clique have made hundreds of millions of pounds out of this sell-off.
This is the same Buffini who was unable to tell a parliamentary committee just how much tax he paid.
Brown has just appointed Permira boss Buffini to the ‘Business Council of Britain’ being set up by Brown to advise his government.
Buffini was also appointed earlier this month to the new National Council for Educational Excellence, set up to ‘encourage’ business involvement in education, a process better known as the privatisation of education.
Today’s national postal strike will bring the whole of the working class up against the Brown govern- ment and the employers behind it.
The government and the employers intend to privatise and casualise the industry and smash the CWU trade union. The workers have no alternative but to defend their jobs and their wages, on which their families depend.
The whole of the public sector must be brought out to win the struggle by bringing down the Brown government to go forward to a workers government, to put an end to Brown’s plan to turn his government into an open bosses ‘government of national unity’.